There was a massive pile-up on the south-bound stretch of the Bandra-Worli sea link during morning peak hours on Wednesday because of a BEST bus that broke down.
Although the traffic police was informed soon after the air-conditioned bus broke down at 9.30am, vehicular movement on the stretch was disrupted for at least two hours as a hippo crane had to be pressed into service to move the bus. Of the four hippo cranes used by the Mumbai traffic police, only one is kept in the western suburbs (at Vakola, Santacruz (West)).
“After we received the call, we deployed additional traffic police personnel on the sea link to ensure smooth flow of traffic. The bus could only be moved around two hours late, with the help of a crane. Repairing the bus there would have affected the traffic further,” said GV Parmar, inspector, Worli traffic outpost.
With the traffic police struggling to manage the pile-up, motorists heading towards south Mumbai were stranded on the sea link for two hours.
“We can get send a spacecraft to Mars, but we can’t clear a traffic jam on the sea link,” said an infuriated Tarun Tripathi, who was delayed because of
Usually, when such incidents occur, especially in the case of heavy vehicles, the traffic police are alerted. Depending on the size of the vehicle, they then send a towing van or a crane to the spot. However, when a BEST bus breaks downs, the BEST has to send a vehicle to move it.
But this time, with vehicles piling up, the traffic police had little choice but to use their own crane to clear the spot, said authorities.
Traffic on the sea link was restored to normalcy around 11.20am.
* 100 towing vans are used by the Mumbai traffic police
* 63 of the 100 towing vans are hired
* While the police use most of these 100 towing vans to tow away vehicles from no-parking zones, they also come in handy while moving ones that break down on the city’s roads
* 4 hippo cranes are used for towing away heavy vehicles
* Of them, three are parked in the eastern suburbs, while the fourth is kept at Santacruz (East)
If your vehicle breaks down
You need to contact private towing agencies
In case of heavy vehicles, the traffic police usually reached the spot to prevent snarls.